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One creative decision that might have damaged Sony's attempts at staging their own Spider-Man movies (with Andrew Garfield AND Tobey Maguire) was the complaint about there being too many villains for the hero to focus on. You couldn't just get Sandman, for example, the studio also wanted Venom -- even though Spider-Man 3 director Sam Raimi reportedly was opposed. So on the heels of the news that Mysterio will be a villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming 2, it's slightly concerning to hear that Michael Keaton will be reprising his role as The Vulture as well.
This was a line included in Variety's coverage of the news that Jake Gyllenhaal is in talks to play master illusionist Mysterio in the anticipated Spider-Man sequel. The trade says that Michael Keaton will reprise his role of Adrian Toomes. That's all that is stated, and it leaves the door open to a number of different options, which we can break down.
The following will dive deep into spoilers for Spider-Man: Homecoming, and the MCU in general.
When Jon Watts' Spider-Man: Homecoming ended, the Vulture (Keaton) was sent to prison. But in a post-credits stinger, Toomes was confronted by another convict, Mac Gargan (Michael Mando), who in the comics would go on to become the Scorpion. Gargan even has scorpion tattoos on his neck. The criminal wants to know Spidey's true identity, though Toomes refuses to give Peter Parker (Tom Holland) up. Perhaps because Peter saved Toomes' life on the beach.
So, is Michael Keaton coming back for a prison-based cameo? Could there be a breakout with Vulture and Scorpion that's separate from whatever plot Mysterio is working? And... hey, how is Sony planning on doing all of this, since Spider-Man DIED at the end of Avengers: Infinity War? Here's Toomes staring down Gargan, and sticking up for Spidey:
Part of me likes the fact that the Spider-Man universe is being peppered with these creative villains. Spidey has an incredible Rogue's Gallery of adversaries, and after one movie, Vulture, the Tinkerer and a Shocker all are in play. There have been rumors that Black Cat or Kraven could be added to next summer's sequel, but the Mysterio news has placed the focus squarely on Quentin Beck as Peter's next project. That is... if he can come back from the dead.
We have plenty of time to find out just how involved Michael Keaton will be in Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 (or whatever Sony ends up calling it). The sequel starts shooting this summer, and we're sure news will leak out. Until then, bookmark our MCU Portal Page for all of the latest happenings in the land of Marvel Studios!